Depreciation is the process of allocating an asset purchase over its life expectancy. It is most commonly used to expense a prorated portion of an asset purchase such as heavy equipment, vehicles, buildings, and other large ticket items. These articles include GAAP and tax depreciation.



EBITDA is an acronym for Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization. The value is generally known as operational profit before capital expenditures and tax obligations.

Bookkeeping – Schedules (Lesson 23)


In accounting there are books (journals) and ledgers for source entry of information. A trial balance is used to monitor the types of accounts. With the use of parent-child accounts and control accounts bookkeepers can generate a wide array of reports. Unfortunately this still lacks the breath of supporting information needed. The profession uses schedules to augment the reports.

Economic Substance Principle

Economic Substance Principle

The taxpayer must prove that the underlying economic transaction was not concocted to avoid or reduce tax liability. In the Gregory Vs. Helvering case, the Supreme Court actually uses the word  ‘sham’.

Internal Controls – Fixed Assets

Internal Controls - Fixed Assets

Internal control is a subset of the accounting system to aid in proper reporting of existing assets and liabilities. Internal controls over fixed assets alleviate two distinct risks. The primary risk is physical in nature and relates to the asset getting lost, stolen or damaged thereby affecting the value as reported on the financial statements. The second risk is financial in nature related to errors in determining cost basis, useful life, and depreciation assigned; all of which can affect value.

Each risk uses a separate set of controls to minimize or eliminate the exposure and reduce management’s concern that the financial value as reported is incorrect.  This article explains the standard set of controls for each risk group.

Various Sets of Accounting Books

Accounting Books

Accounting’s primary purpose is to measure economic activity. There are several different methods to determine the economic value generated in your business each year. In accounting this is referred to as sets of books. There are four basic sets of accounting books. Each has a different purpose and end goal.

Tangible and Intangible – Business Definitions and Use

Tangible and Intangible Meaning

Tangible and intangible are terms with several different meanings. A lot of well educated folks have a difficult time providing an all inclusive definition. Someone once described tangible as ‘something that can be burned’. Well, land is tangible and yet, you can’t burn it.  Actually, in Boy Scouts, we teach the boys to use dirt to put out fires! But the best overall definition for these terms that I heard was a synonymous statement made by a Supreme Court Justice when trying to define pornography in relation to art. He said something along the line of ‘I don’t have a definition, but I just know it when I see it’. Basically the gray area for the definition is vast. This is true for these two terms because there are various levels of definitions related to their respective use.  

There is the classic college textbook definition.  It is straight forward, but it doesn’t really begin to get involved in the gray area definitions.  Then there is the more extended definition as used in accounting and customarily in the traditional business setting.  Really getting into higher thinking and use of the terms comes into play when discussing value.  Finally, there is the relationship to each other with regards to economics and the evolving concept of wealth.  They are similar to the theory of the Yin and the Yang of life itself.  

Hobbies – Business Perspective and Tax Compliance


Many people turn their hobbies into a business operation. Not so much to make a living or make big profits, but more to help offset the costs of the hobby. Whenever you go to one of those community fairs, the vendors at the respective booths are mostly folks selling a product that is direct outcome of their hobby. The bands that play on stage, they make some money, but never enough to offset the cost of instruments, gear and transportation. But they enjoy entertaining folks and they hope someday they’ll get discovered. 

Accelerated Depreciation – An Explanation

Accelerated Depreciation

When it comes to depreciation, no two businesses are alike. Unlike traditional straight line depreciation where the asset value is costed out to depreciation expense in equal increments over a given life expectancy, accelerated depreciation expenses the cost at higher values during the earlier accounting periods and at a lower amount towards the last half of the asset’s life expectancy.

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